For more than a quarter of a century, Dorothy “Dottie” Vincent has exhibited the innovation, creativity, and leadership of an outstanding technology transfer professional. Beginning as a front-line laboratory employee, she has diligently worked her way up the ladder to become the leader of the Navy’s technology transfer enterprise. Highlights of her career include laying the foundation for the technology transfer functions at one of the Navy’s premier laboratories, collaborating on the establishment of key tech transfer policies and processes for the Navy, leading creative best-practice efforts, and inspiring innovation from those around her.
A tireless evangelist for technology transfer since becoming the Technology Transfer Program Manager for the Department of the Navy in 2006, Vincent’s outreach within the extensive Navy enterprise has led to the startup of new tech transfer operations at more than a dozen facilities. She now leads a vibrant tech transfer community of 38 Offices of Research and Technology Applications (ORTAs) in 44 designated labs located on 4 continents. In addition to extensive efforts to build a cohesive and communicative Navy technology transfer community, Vincent constantly fosters a culture of innovation that began with the establishment of a technology transfer improvement pilot program specifically enacted to develop new best practices.
Vincent’s superlative career of service to technology transfer is encapsulated in the story of one of those innovative pilot projects—the improvement and widespread transfer of the Innovation Discovery Process (IDP). The IDP was a facilitated brainstorming process developed to address low invention disclosure rates at one Navy lab. However, Vincent saw far greater potential. As a result of her creativity and innovation, IDP has grown into an exciting new tool with proven capabilities to drive new invention disclosures and patent applications, improve licensing outcomes, enhance the visibility and reputation of technology transfer within a lab, and develop strong relationships with public- and private-sector partners.
The technology transfer mechanisms involved in the IDP story include the employment of internal innovation programs, a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA), and old-fashioned networking. Vincent’s transfer efforts have resulted in at least 14 Navy labs, 7 Air Force labs, and the Department of Energy’s Princeton Particle Physics Lab hosting IDP events. The transfer effort is ongoing, with more than a dozen events currently in development. The Innovation Discovery Process represents the best of Dottie Vincent’s vision and leadership, and will stand as a lasting monument to her outstanding legacy as a technology transfer professional.